Skip to main content

Workstation Backups Made Easy

Difficultly finding a secure, reliable, low-cost offsite backup solution for your home or business workstation? I've fiddled around with all the usual solutions: NT Backup scheduled job out to a USB drive, Linux Samba file server on my network, periodic CD burns, etc. None of these solutions truly hit the mark for my needs: the job failed, I missed some files, I hadn't performed the manual backup in a while, etc.

Mozy.com to the rescue. This free (2GB), online service and application utilizes encryption to regularly post your local files up to a Mozy server. I run the application on my work laptop and one of my desktops at home. There's a 1:1 limit on email address to Mozy account but I have several addresses I can pull from.

Downsides include the size limitation, agreeing to accept a weekly marketing email from Mozy, and some firewall difficulties. Regarding size, 2GB is perfect for me. Primarily, I want my wife's and my work files and our family photos backed up. We're only at 400MB. And, if I turn others onto Mozy, I can earn additional space. If I need lots of additional space, I can pay $5/month for 30GB. Not a bad deal. Besides, do you really need to back up all those MP3s you didn't exactly pay for?

I'm usually adverse to marketing but a weekly email is nothing to ask in exchange for this free service. I won't necessarily read it (I could filter it out as spam...) but, hey, free is free.

Finally, because I'm using the free version of Zone Alarm Firewall, I'm unable to permit Mozy to punch through when locked by the screen saver (this is a feature in the paid version). No worries though as I'm on the workstations daily and can kick off a manual backup (and, Mozy alerts me if I've not backed up in the past day-this reminder feature is user-configurable).

Overall, Mozy is a great service/software. There's no longer a need for me to purchase media (USB, hard drives), maintain backup software, or schedule Windows tasks/jobs. The price is right and the software highly configurable and user-friendly. I'll be recommending Mozy to all my friends and family.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

TFS Error | The type initializer for 'Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Server.BuildInformationNodeBinder' threw an exception.

Posting this one for the search engines. If you ever receive the exception "The type initializer for 'Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Server.BuildInformationNodeBinder' threw an exception.", more than likely, your drive space is at 0 on your TFS application tier box.

I encountered this at a client recently. The root cause was that IIS logs had filled up the OS drive (C:\). I switched IIS logging to the applications drive (D:\) which cleaned up the OS drive and resolved the issue.

Detailed message:


TF53010: The following error has occurred in a Team Foundation component or extension:


Date (UTC): 6/7/2011 4:18:53 PM

Machine: TFSATBOX

Application Domain: /LM/W3SVC/8080/ROOT/tfs-1-129519118182628600

Assembly: Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Framework.Server, Version=10.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a; v2.0.50727

Service Host: 7ecfbd77-b386-4d75-b038-b05474782696 (DefaultCollection)

Process Details:

Process Name: w3wp

Process Id: 3676

Thread Id: 5752

Ac…

Verified by Visa: Everything We Tell Folks to Avoid

Phishing is defined by F-Secure as: "Fraudulent e-mail or website claiming to be legitimate seeking indentifiable information. Phishing is an attempt to steal your personal data."When I recently attempted an online purchase from WalMart using my VISA card, being a security wanta-be, I immediately thought phishing when redirected to verifiedbyvisa.com and saw this dialog:

Seriously, these folks have to be kidding. You're asking for my personal data during a transaction and claim that's its a service "...at no additional cost." Wow! Thanks...but absolutely not, you jokers. As a malicious thief, I can go a long way with this data.

This is exactly the type of experience which aids malfeasance and the folks trying to steal personal data / identities. How long have we been working to educate folks to avoid providing this type of data under these type of circumstances? Years. And we're just now starting to turn the corner.

VISA, get rid of this! When folks submi…

Shrinking WSS (Sharepoint) SQL Server Log Files

Yesterday, while migrating a source repository from StarTeam to TFS, I received the following error:
"TF30042: The database is full. Contact your Team Foundation Server administrator."Excuse you? Sure enough, my 100+ GB drive was full on the server. But I'd only migrated around 1000 items. Surely SQL wasn't consuming 100MB per file.

Turns out (yes, there was a lot of crud on the drive but...) the majority of the space, almost 40GB was being consumed by the Windows Sharepoint Services WSS Content data and log SQL Server files. Huh? I still need to investigate and understand why this portal, which is 100% unused, grew so large. Regardless, here's what I did to resolve:

Since this is not yet a production database, I flipped the SQL recovery option from Full to Simple for WSS Content and several other databases. Detail here and here.
Executed the maintenance plan for all the databases to get backups and clear out some of these files. That didn't help much. The Auto_…